Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lenox Almond Biscotti

This week Gretchen of Canela & Comino chose Lenox Almond Biscotti for our recipe challenge. Oh Gretchen, thank you thank you, thank you! Biscotti has always been one of my favorite foods (especially around the holidays). Who knew someone of so little culinary experience could actually bake biscotti in their own kitchen? And the greatest thing of all was this was actually one of the easiest things I have baked AND I had all the ingredients I needed right in that pantry of mine. Or so I thought . . .

My new shiny red KA mixer was gently purring like a kitten as it mixed my wonderful dough when I discovered - oops, completely out of almond flavoring. Since I was baking in old clothes and no makeup, hair tied back in a ponytail reminiscent of those kindergarten years, there was no way I was headed to the store for almond extract. Not to panic, though, I decided to just use vanilla and hope for the best. I did sprinkle some cinnamon on half of them right before putting into the oven to give them an extra kick in case the vanilla was not enough. Even though biscotti were traditionally almond flavored, I think the sky is the limit on what flavors and ingredients can be used. My next batch might just house some dried fruit. And yes, there will definitely be a next time for these delicious, coffee dipping cookies.


I did not stand my biscotti on end for the second bake like band marchers, but rather on their sides like sleeping soldiers -- it worked just great. But to be totally honest and objective, they are probably not the prettiest biscotti you have ever seen, nor is their shape perfect, nor do they have rounded top edges and squared off bottoms, but as my first attempt I have to say I am delighted with the finished product. The only problem was I'm quite sure I could have devoured the entire batch, having managed to eat at least eight of them today already. I must maintain control and keep that hand of mine out of the cookie jar! I admit it - I'm a food junkie. If something tastes really good to me, I eat it and eat it until I am sick of it. I do the same thing with cds. I play them over and over until I can no longer stand to hear them. Then I move on. Like Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." I can recite every single word of that song, and no, I'm not proud. I've moved on this week to Sara Barielles "I'm not gonna write you a love song 'cause you asked for it 'cause you need one" and I'm quite sure I will know all those words before I move on again. Do I need therapy???

And now, a little history lesson. I know that in Italy the term biscotti refers to any type of cookie. But here in the South, we use the term to describe the tasteful, long, dry, hard, twice-baked cookie that is dipped in something. In Italy, you might dip them in a glass of wine, but in the South, usually coffee is the choice. Though I might dip them in my wine the next time I have a glass. I love to dip bread in wine, so it makes good sense to me to dip my biscotti also. I know you were just all dying to hear that juicy tidbit.

I found this fun fact on the internet: Columbus was one of the first to use biscotti as a ration on board his sailing vessels. Because of their long storage ability, they were an ideal food for sailors, soldiers, and fisherman. This weekend started the dreaded remodeling of the kitchen. My entire house is a wreck. So. . . much of my challenge this week was trying to work in a cluttered area with hubster on his hands and knees re-tiling our floor. I had to literally step over him every time I went from the sink to the stove! For those of you who know what a perfectionist I am, you know I will probably go nuts from the disorder of the construction zone! I have furniture in places I never knew I could put furniture. I'm trying my best to adapt. My kitchen table is in the corner of my living room. We are sort of liking that. You know how excited you get when you go to a crowded restaurant and it just so happens the hostess sits you in a quiet corner and inside you are silently yelling YES, thank you! The hubster is now calling it our eat-in living room. This morning for breakfast he said, "Shall we dine outside on the patio or in the eat-in living room?" Yep, he keeps me laughing.

Check back in a week or two - I might be having a "give-away." I love surprises, don't you? :)








40 comments:

Amanda said...

A give-away!!??? Fun!!! If I win, your shipping costs will be low :-) Your biscotti was so yummy- thanks for sharing!!! I can't wait to see the kitchen remodel. You and Cathy are getting so good at staging your food- I need to take lessons!!

Prudy said...

Love the Columbus biscotti connection. Perfect for this week. Keep us posted on your kitchen remodel. Your biscotti look wonderful.

Audrey said...

Weren't these good? It's fun for us to hear about your remodeling project...I'm looking forward to seeing the finished room. I'm sure it will be gorgeous.
Audrey

Marthe said...

I want a new shiny red KitchenAid!!
And I love give-aways and surprises! Your biscotti look great. Good luck on remodelling your kitchen!

Cathy said...

Your biscotti ACTUALLY MIGHT JUST BE the prettiest that I've ever seen! I'm with you, I have no off switch. I'll just eat them and eat them until I am sick. Good luck surviving the kitchen remodel -- I know that it will be a pain to live through, but so worth it in the end! I look forward to reading about your tales of baking during the remodel!

Marthe said...

Forgot to day I am also contemplating a give-away> mine will be of dutch products.....

n.o.e said...

Hmmm, TWD, an educational experience! What a perfect fun fact for Columbus day (week). And I've never considered dipping anything in wine - this opens whole new gustatory paths. Your biscotti look great, and isn't it fun to learn that we *can* actually do this things right in our own (chaos-filled) kitchens?
Nancy

Anne said...

Your biscotti looks perfect and I like the bit about Columbus right by his holiday.

Good luck with the kitchen remodel- it's hard but always exciting!

Engineer Baker said...

Good luck with the remodeling! Your sleeping soldiers look quite tasty.

Kimberly Johnson said...

Your biscotti look beautiful and thanks for sharing the fun Columbus fact!

Lori said...

i made exactly the same substitution you did, for exactly the same reason! the cinnamon gave it a nice touch, didn't it? after a home remodel we did ourselves, years ago, i swore i'd never again live in the middle of remodeling my own kitchen. HUGE kudos to you!

Flourchild said...

Your tile looks great..are you getting new countertops? I want them so bad..granite..but have to wait a while..to many things to buy and take care of now. Your Biscotti blog is great..I love the history lesson about Columbus. I love the look of your cookies.

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Nice biscotti! If you like Sara Barielles try Duffy. She's different but really good. Check YouTube for "Mercy".

Candy said...

I remodel my kitchen last year! It is so hard to live through but worth the effort. Love the biscotti! My actually tasted a little too almondy.

Libby said...

That song is awesome. I would never admit that to anyone but you! Great biscotti... and that napkin ring is so pretty!

pinkstripes said...

Cool history lesson! I loved these, they were so good I had to take them to work to share. Your kitchen will be gorgeous.

Veronica said...

I love seeing all these different biscotti as I hop around the blogosphere! Good Luck with your kitchen-we just redid ours this past summer (and we are still putting the finishing touches on!) It's tough without a kitchen!

Rachel said...

Ha I love your little history lesson!

Matt said...

I envy your kitchen remodeling project. Oh, how I would love to have a state of the art kitchen... I'm content with what I have though.

You're biscotti look elegant, especially resting on the teacup saucer. And by the way, I never thought of dipping them in wine. I have been known to try the bread in wine thing you mentioned, but never while someone is looking...

Annette said...

Your biscotti looks delicious! Oooh, a giveaway! Can't wait to hear about it. Hang in there with the remodel. Just think how happy you're going to be in your 'new' kitchen. :)

AmyRuth said...

So Glad you have your own personal "handy man" to keep life exciting.

I loved the biscotti too. Surprised me.

Totally Love Surprises...can't wait to hear more.
Thank you for stopping by for a visit and leaving such a sweet comment.
AmyRuth

CB said...

I have a red KA mixer too! Don't you just love it?? Red is my fav color. I hope you're re-decorating so that it doesn't clash with your KA. HAHA. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Gretchen Noelle said...

So glad that you enjoyed baking biscotti in your own kitchen, that is wonderful! Great job on these!

Mike Spoodles said...

Nice! Love the biscotti history, and your biscotti in particular!

The Food Librarian said...

New kitchen aid mixers are such a delight! Your biscotti look great. I did try the marching band, but apparently that isn't what dorie meant! :)

natalia said...

Ciao ! your biscotti look great, I didn't put almond flavor either ! But stil I liked them I wuold like to try the cinnamon ones ! Happy remodeling !

Liz said...

Your pictures look so elegant! I also love the Columbus fun fact--bet ours were better. :)

Lifeisinthechaos said...

Your biscotti looks beautiful!

How in the world does one even get them to stand up like a marching band anyway?

After looking at yours so golden I think I undercooked mine although after a day they are more "biscotti-ish" in texture.

Christine said...

Lucky you a kitchen remodel! Your biscotti looks delicious and I am looking forward to a give away!

Jess said...

I will definitely take some of these biscotti on my next sea voyage. Yours look great!

carmencooks said...

Remodeling is stressful!! But the end result is worth it. :) i love your biscotti, and this was my first time making it too. I'm jealous of your shiny new KA mixer! :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Your biscotti look wonderful! Great job! I love your background info too. Knowing a little history always makes a recipe more interesting.

bakingwiththeboys said...

I hadn't had biscotti before because I don't like coffee. Biscotti and wine? Now that sounds inttriguing. Thanks for the tip.

TeaLady said...

New tiles AND biscotti. That's what I call living. Yours look great (and so do the biscotti.) 8-)

A cookbook. A box of biscotti. Come on - give. O, wait, that didn't come out quite rite.

Great cookies.

Prudence said...

Hey!! I have a red KA too! I love it!! What a beautiful picture of your biscotti in such a fancy setting. One word: Divine!!!

Sabrina said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting. Your biscotti look long... how did you cut them? Mine were short and stubby. Like me.
Um, Whenever i hear Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats, I think she is talking about my car the suburu legacy.
Cause she kinda slurs her words when she says, Carved my name into his leather seats (Legacy).
I just wish she would leave my car alone.

LyB said...

Your biscotti looks wonderful! Good luck with the remodeling. :)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I've never heard of dipping bread or biscotti in wine, but I'm willing to give it a try!

Prudy said...

Oh no! I don't know what happened with the Hepburn brownies. Drat!

Di said...

Lovely plating in the top picture. I'm quite impressed that you made these around the construction in your kitchen. I just have to step around and over children in mine... =) I, too, and looking forward to experimenting with other flavors.